EU referendum battle steps up a gear

Composite image of Remain support and Leave supporter

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There is less than six weeks to go until the in-out referendum

The EU referendum campaign is to step up a gear as campaigners from both sides of the debate hit the streets this weekend to try to win over voters.

PM David Cameron and Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn will separately make their case for a Remain vote, as part of 1,000 UK-wide events promoting EU membership.

Vote Leave’s Boris Johnson will set out in a speech why he thinks the UK should leave the EU and Grassroots Out will hold a series of nationwide events.

The referendum takes place on 23 June.

Voters in the UK will be asked whether they want the country to stay in or to leave the European Union.

With less than six weeks to go until the vote, and with the polls putting Remain and Leave at roughly 50-50, both sides have all to play for.

The official Britain Stronger In Europe campaign said it was putting on about 1,000 events across the UK on Saturday, to make the case that Britain is “better off” staying in the EU.

Mr Cameron is due to unveil a poster warning against a vote to leave. It will depict an envelope on a doormat with wording saying an EU exit would cost the equivalent of “£4,300 for every household”.

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Mr Cameron has warned that an EU exit would hit the UK economy

Ahead of the event, the prime minister said politicians were coming together to say with “one voice” that Britain should vote Remain, saying the country’s future in the EU was “bigger than party politics”.

“We’ll see the effects of this referendum in our lives: the jobs we do, the opportunities our children have, the public services we rely on, the prices we pay and the bills that land on our doormats,” he said.

Vote Leave accused Mr Cameron of “failing to be honest” with voters, saying that the cost of staying in was “£4,600” per household, as membership costs “£50m” a day.

“David Cameron knows that not a single British family would lose that amount of money if we Vote Leave. In fact they would prosper as we spend our money on our priorities,” said Vote Leave chief executive Matthew Elliott.

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Mr Johnson kicked off Vote Leave’s EU referendum battle bus tour earlier this week

Meanwhile, at a rally in London, Mr Corbyn – regarded as his party’s most Eurosceptic leader in a generation – will attack the Conservative government as he seeks to rally Labour support for a Remain vote on 23 June.

The Labour leader – who has been encouraged by some in the party to take a more prominent role in the campaign – will say blame for the “many problems” in the UK lie with the government – not the EU.

“There is so much more the European Union could be doing if we had a government making the right choices and with the right priorities.

“That is why we are voting to remain and reform, to work within Europe to improve people’s lives here in Britain – the Tories are doing the opposite,” he will say.

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Mr Corbyn has been urging young people to register to vote in the referendum

Former London Mayor Boris Johnson – one of the most prominent campaigners for EU exit, who launched Vote Leave’s referendum battle bus earlier this week – will also be making a speech.

Meanwhile, the cross-party Grassroots Out group – which lost to Vote Leave in its bid for the official campaign designation – is holding a series of events nationwide.

This will include a rally in Chester addressed by former Conservative cabinet minister Owen Paterson and UKIP migration spokesman Steven Woolfe.

Mr Paterson will say a vote to leave on 23 June would be the “safer choice” and allow Britain to “take back control of our own affairs”.

By contrast, he said, staying in the EU would reduce the UK to “being a colony of an EU superstate, with more integration and increasingly diminished British influence”.

Mr Woolfe will add: “This referendum is not about whether you are on the right of politics or on the left, whether you are Tory, Labour, UKIP or support no party at all.

“This referendum is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to take back control of our country. Unlike a general election, every vote matters.”

In other campaign news, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron and Green MP Caroline Lucas will be among the politicians taking part in the pro-Remain events.

EU referendum battle steps up a gear}

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